Week 3 of the NFL schedule has been a busy time for books. With oddsmakers and football bettors getting a better handle on the league, those opinions are coming into play and have multiple lines on the move as the weekend draws closer.
We talk to sportsbooks, both online and in Las Vegas, about the biggest adjustments on the NFL Week 3 board.
Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals – Open: +1, Move: +3
The Bengals’ win on Monday did little to impress bettors, who have driven this number as high as a field goal at some books. According to Jay Rood, Vice President of race and sports at MGM, nearly 98 percent of the early money is on the Packers.
“It’s been all Packers and we’re likely going to follow the pack and go to -2.5,” Rood, who opened Green Bay -2, told Covers. “Outside of a small bet on the Bengals, it’s been all Green Bay on straight-up bets, teasers, and parlays.”
Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings – Open: -3.5, Move: -6.5
Cleveland is going with third-string QB Brian Hoyer Sunday after No. 1 Brandon Weeden suffered a thumb injury against Baltimore last week. On top of that, the Browns traded RB Trent Richardson to the Colts Wednesday night. That’s pushed this spread a field goal and could continue to add points to the line.
“With a healthy Weeden, they average a poultry 5.8 yards per completion - ranked 28th in NFL. And now with the announcement that Brian Hoyer is getting the start ahead of Jason Campbell, I can’t see how Cleveland is going to move the ball,” Peter Childs of Sportsbook.com tells Covers.
Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins – Open: Pick, Move: -2.5
This game opened as low as a pick but money is siding with the Redskins and has moved the spread a near field goal as of Wednesday afternoon.
“There is a lean toward Washington but the sharps haven’t tipped their hand on this one,” says Rood. “The public is hooking up on Washington and the Over.”
Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints – Open: -9.5, Move: -7
The Cardinals have been better than expected in the first two weeks of the season and money on Arizona has echoed that sentiment, with almost all the action taking the road team down as low as a touchdown underdog. Rood believes some football fans aren’t quite sold on New Orleans as a contender just yet.
“They’re like any other team adjusting to a new head coach,” he says. “There are a lot of players on the Saints that haven’t played under (head coach Sean) Peyton. And he’s coming back with a new eye for this team. It’s kind of like the Saints have had three head coaches in three years. It’s going to take some time. This team right now will be completely different come Week 10 or 11.”
Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins – Open: Pick, Move: -3
The Dolphins are the wiseguys’ choice this week, moving this spread as many as three points at some books. According to Rood, the MGM Mirage took a limit play on Miami ($30,000) Wednesday morning, forcing them to move the line from Dolphins -1.5 to -2.5.
“The public money, however, is all over the Falcons on straight-up bets and parlays,” says Rood. “This is a classic matchup of sharps versus public. We don’t want to go to Miami -3 right away but could if the sharps keep pushing it.”
Jacksonville Jaguars at Seattle Seahawks – Open: -16.5, Move: -20
Some books were bet up to this monstrous spread while others boldly opened Seattle as a 20-point favorite hosting the lowly Jaguars Sunday. According to Childs, the early money came from sharps who gladly laid the 17 points. When the public got involved, they jumped from -18 straight to -20.
“Since going to 20, we’ve actually written nice two-way action on this game, so I can’t see us moving off that number any time soon,” he says.
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos – Open: -16.5, Move: -14
At first glance, this spread may not be enough. Denver has been dominant through its first two games but is now suffering from a dangerously-thin offensive line. The Broncos, who lost their starting center this summer, will be without left tackle Ryan Clady due to a foot injury.
“You just can’t go to 711 and get another one of these guys,” Roods says of Denver’s ailing offensive line.
“With these big spreads, the teams don’t care about them,” he says. “If (Denver) gets up by 17 points, they’re going into preservation mode and pulling guys off the bench. There’s always that possibility for a backdoor cover on a late touchdown with these (spreads).”